Sunday, January 15, 2012

Trash Chili Night and Rutherford Grill Cornbread on a budget

Last night was really chilly out here in NYC.....FINALLY!  So I did not feel like doing much more than curling up with a good movie or maybe having a friend over to hang out, eating something warm and comforting and sharing a bottle of wine. I also did not really want to spend money by going out to dinner or even shopping for a lot of food to make something ( Budget January you know).  As the day progressed and I pondered over what I would make for dinner. I thought about the 5 pounds of ground turkey ( Family pack from a New Jersey shopping trip - hello budget January!!) that I needed to cook sitting in the fridge and what I was ever going to do with that. I also did not want to leave the house and as a result I started looking at what I had in the pantry. Then I got an idea. I had just done a party where we had served turkey chili. And I thought OK maybe I have enough stuff to make a good chili. My tomato options were a little scarce but I had some interesting options and I thought OK what the heck I will give it a try. To go with the chili I came up with the ingredients for my favorite cornbread recipe in the world and I think it's the best you will ever eat! It's a take off on the cornbread served at the Rutherford Grill in the Napa Valley, California. It's so good in fact that the first time I made this recipe it blew the socks off the people I was serving it to. It's almost a cake but savory and cheesy and actually since I cheated ( semi homemade style- thank you Sandra Lee, not that she has anything to do with the recipe) the first time I made it I have never gone back to another way of making it, so it's SUPER EASY!

But I digress. So to make the chili ( and don't laugh) I literally went through my fridge and  cupboard and came up with the following ingredients that I pulled and used for the Chili.

5 lbs ground turkey
3 medium onions finely diced
1 large green bell pepper finely diced
1 bunch parsley chopped
1  8 oz can chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoon Salt Free Blackening Spices
8 tablespoons chili powder
10 tablespoons ground roasted cumin
3 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tabasco sauce ( omit if you don't like spice)
1 large jar Tomato Alfred Pasta Sauce ( Silver Palate Brand)
1 small jar 8 oz tomato jam (Stonewall Farms Brand)
1 4 oz can green chilis
1 can Red Enchilada sauce ( old El Paso Brand)
1 jar Maxwell House instant coffee 4 cups prepared ( start with 2)
5 tablespoons Guy Fieri Brand Brown Sugar BBQ sauce
2 cans Black Beans drained and rinsed
salt to taste

For toppings Sour cream, chopped red onion, chopped scallions, canned sliced black olives, reserved cheese. ( the onion and scallion is redundant but I had both to use up! )

For the cornbread

2 packages Betty Crocker Corn Bread Mix
2 eggs ( beaten)
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 can creamed style corn
1 cans green chillies
2 tablespoons finely diced jalepeno peppers from a can 2 tablespoons whole ones held in reserve
1 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese plus 1/2 cup held in reserve
1 tablespoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons bacon bits ( I used Hormel Brand from the jar in the salad dressing aisle you can omit if you want veggie version)
1/4 cup buttermilk plus 3 tablespoons
Cooking spray
Must use a cast iron frying pan 10 to 12 inches in diameter ( You can use another pan but it won't come out the same

Method ( Could not be easier )

For the Trash Chili

In a large heavy bottomed Braising Pot
Cook the onions and peppers in a little oil
Add the turkey and brown
then add all the other ingredients starting with 2 cups of the coffee use the other 2 only if too thick.
Cook at a simmer for 4 hours on medium low heat stirring occasionally to make sure it does not stick
Check seasoning ( I actually added a little salt thats all)
Serve into bowls and top with Sour cream, shredded cheese chopped red onion, black canned olives and scallions

For the Cornbread

Heat oven to 425 degrees
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine the egg throughout batter will be lumpy.
Don't over mix the wet and the dry should just be barely mixed.
Heat Cast iron skillet in oven for 15 mins. till screaming HOT!
Pull out and spray with cooking spray.
Pour batter into the pan cover with the cheese and reserved pepper slices.
Place in oven and bake for 30 to 45 mins.
Top should be browning and getting crusty
Remove from oven and let rest for 15 mins. then slice into wedges and serve while still warm

Ya'll Enjoy!

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